Flexibility in the Winter

We all know that we’re supposed to stretch. We have good intentions but maybe we’re not sure what to do or how to do it. Is it before I exercise or after? How long should I do it for? And our work out is done and over and we’re off to the next thing on the list. I know, I’m guilty of it to. But we need to remember that flexibility is a key part of our fitness health so we should make a concise effort to do it. The cold winter is especially a good time to focus on this because our muscles are colder and need a little more help warming up, plus it’s good exercise that we can easily do inside and in front of the TV.

So how do I increase my flexibility? I stretch before and after I exercise and I do it differently because they serve two different goals.

Before I exercise I prefer to do a more active stretch. The goal here is to warm your muscles in preparation for your workout. This could be jumping jax which raise your heart rate and stretches your extremities. You can do some pick ups (short sprints), or lunges.

After I exercise I do a more traditional stretch routine. The goal here is to stretch your muscles to gain flexibility because your body is already warmed up and loose. I make sure I cover the major muscle groups, especially my legs, and focus on my quads and hamstrings. In order to get the maximum benefit, I hold each stretch for AT LEAST 40 seconds and repeat the stretches on each side 2-3 times.

What do you do to increase your flexibility?

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5 responses

  1. I completely stopped stretching when I was training for my first marathon. I read several articles about the pros and cons of it, and I prefer not to. Even during my ultras I rarely ever stretch unless I experience muscle cramping. I guess it’s all a matter of preference.

  2. Pingback: Warming up and Cooling Down for the Sprints « pinoyathletics.com

  3. Pingback: Warming up and Cooling Down for the Sprints | pinoyathletics.com

  4. Pingback: Training for the Sprints 100-200-400 (merged) - Pinoyathletics.info

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